Obedience

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  • Obedience
    • definition
      • a type of social influence where somebody acts in response to an order from an authority figure
      • the person receiving the order is made to respond in a way they would not do without the order
    • motivation
      • a fear of punishment
      • belief in  legitimacy of authority
    • research into obedience
      • Milgram  (1963)
        • method
          • 40 male volunteers
            • deceived into thinking they were giving electric shocks
            • paid $4.50
            • teacher
              • administered shock every time learner gave wrong answer
            • volunteer sampling
            • aged between 20 and 50
          • confederates
            • learner
              • word association task
          • shock generator
            • went up in 15V
            • 15V -  450V
        • findings
          • 65% went to 450V
          • 100% went to 300V
          • participants found procedure stressful, entered state of conflict
            • Experimenter gave teacher prods
              • it is essential that you continue
              • the experiment requires the you continue
              • you have no other choice so please carry on
              • please continue
          • different reactions
            • laughing
            • feeling guilty
            • sweating
            • fidgeting
            • stuttering
        • conslusions
          • people are inherantly obedient
          • ordinary people will obey and hurt another person even if it goes against their conscience
          • obedience is necessary for society to function
        • evaluation
          • stands the test of time
            • Blass (1999) conducted statistical analysis of Milgram's obedience experiments and replications between 1961 - 1985, same levels of obedience apply even in 2007
              • Milgram's experiment is extremely valid even to this day and can still apply and explain obedient behavior in certain situations
          • Milgram's research is misapplied and over generalized to situations involving obedience
            • sample is unrepresentative - white males for America, Mendel (1998) tried to apply Milgram's research to Resene battalion 101, still shot jews face to face who they had social relationships with and they did not want to be assigned to other duties
              • situation Milgram created is not very meaningful - 1 hour vs years (Nazis) low eco validity - useless in explaining more severe situations
          • goes against ethical guidelines
            • deception - Milgram didn't reveal his true aim, gave false aim
              • no ethical guidelines in place at time of experiment, benefits outweigh costs of experiment, 84% of participants happy they took part
          • low internal validity
            • Orne + Holland   - because of nature of psychology, participants are expecting to be deceived and therefor know whats going on and are just 'going along with it'
              • participants not behaving as they would HOWEVER participants asked to estimate pain of shocks = 13.52 out of 14, intensity of reactions - sweating, laughing
        • variations
          • teacher not required to flick switch (another teacher)
            • higher obedience rate  - 92% up to 450V
          • experimenter gave orders over the telephone
            • lower obedience rate - 21% up to 450V
          • both learner and teacher in same room
            • lower obedience rate - 40% up to 450V
          • teacher in same room as learner and required to place hand on shock plate to administer shock
            • lower obedience rate - 30% up to 450V
          • teacher provided with 2 accomplices who would refuse to carry on part way through the experiment
            • lower obedience rate - 10% up to 450V
          • venue changed from Yale university to run down offices in nearby town
            • lower obedience rate   - 48% up to 450V
          • teacher administered shocks to learner was male or female
            • no difference
        • motivation
          • Nazi Germany
          • group behaviour
          • blind obedience
          • Asch's research
      • Sheridan + King (1972) asked participants to give electric shocks of increasing strength to a puppy
        • 54% if male participants administered highest shock
        • 100% of female participants administered highest shock
      • Hofling et al (1966) conducted study in hospital, nurses asked to give drug to patient that was twice dosage of regulations by doctor on phone
        • 95% nurses did as requested
    • why people obey
      • the role of buffers
        • protecting from seeing the consequences
      • agentic shift
        • a person sees them self as an agent carrying out another person's wishes
      • justifying obedience
        • serving a valuable cause
        • underlying ideology
      • gradual commitment
        • consistensy
        • foot in the door effect
        • committed to course of action - harder to stop
      • legitimate authority
        • Bickman - dressed as civilian, milkman or security guard and asked people to obey them, only obeyed for security guard
        • taught to obey certain people
        • symbols of power or status
        • authoritarian personality
          • Adorno et al (1950) - hostile, rigid, conventional, preoccupation with power, obsession with rank and status, ethnocentric

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